Thursday, December 28, 2006

Post 212 : Stock Update 7 - CASt away - Hinduja TMT

My previous post

Good times are rolling

Hinduja TMT has hit 740 today.....I have been chasing this stock since it was 290.....(BTW, the current trigger is the CAS rollout in Metros....)

Look out, I think it will unlock in about a year to 1500.....

Reasons you ask.....ahem....

I have put my money where my mouth is....I have only HTMT in my stock portfolio (and my wife's too)......

I started stock picking, because when I was college, I thought it was the only way to make lateral wealth....btw, this is a very yuppie Bombayish thought.....If not for the other 1000 reasons, at least for this one, I am glad I grew up in Bombay.

My other stocks to watch remain....

ENIL (Radio Mirchi), Asahi India (glass makers), Satnam Overseas (now Kohinoor Overseas - rice makers), Apollo Hospitals (health care), D-Link India, Mahindra Finance - micro finance....

I dont like most other stocks in the market, not because they are bad, because they are not valued right.

I like to buy a few stocks, which I think have value which can unlock and unwind over time...risk free...sure fire multi-baggers.

Happy stocking up.....

Post 211 : Long live the Jackass

Was watching NDTV today, there was this debate going on - "what is this big ooh-aah over New Year Eve..... ". My point is, there is no harm in celebrating. Every occastion to celebrate is welcome..... What disturbed me was that the debate was not about the 'celebration', but the mode of it....

On one side, there was Nalini Singh, Arun Shourie's sister (and one from the original TV intelligensia) - who thought private celebrations were perfectly fine (my point as well), but the avant garde page 3 type parties send the wrong messages into a crowd of already confused youth - the point being, Nalini Singh was against the culture which positioned your stature with the kind of crowd you hobnobed with - A culture which propogates that if you are not seen at a particular 'quality' or 'class' of party then you had still not arrived in life, has defintiely got something wrong.

On the other side, was Mr. Kishen Mulchandani, a perpetual page 3 fixture(I am sure his photos in Bombay Times are fixed by a bimboish PR agency), who committed faux pas ad infinitum in his tirade....firstly he called the youth - "The BPO Generation" - and then he said - these 'poor souls' have never had a day of fun in their life because they all came from villages and towns, and were farmers -implicitly meaning farmers and small towners have no idea of what "fun" is - then he said - "Bombay was the megapolis where you could spend money to attend a whose who kind of party and get a taste of what actually living was meant to be. "

By the time his rant ended, I was wondering (already everyone wonders what exactly does this idiot do for a living....but thats another matter).....Is Kishen actually so brainless or ....maybe he is he intellectually defunct because he comes from a family where such abstruse values such as ' party = living', 'farm life = boring', 'youth from town = deprived' - were used, abused and hurled across.

Everyone has an ass within him/her - the question to be asked is "how big", and "how well do we hide the ass within us"....

Someone like Kishen who does not know enough to hide his idioticy is defintiely an aberration - he must be the proverbial jackass we don't want our children to grow into.....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post 210 : Guru will (must) flop

I don't know what or when I got biased against Abhishek Bachan....I used to like him when no one else liked him....I saw him in the 'Kuch Na Kaho' and told everyone who could hear he was a star. Did not see 'Run', but knew he was great in it, and then of course there was 'Yuva' and 'Sarkar'....

But then recently I was hearing some weird tales from showbiz insiders of how political and scheming the Bachan's made me wonder, were they successful because they were insidious, or were they insidious because they wanted to protect their success......

Whatever the reason, seeds of doubt were sown....

And then there was Dhoom 2. AB junior hammed....Ash sucked big time.....

And the murder was completed.....

I saw promos of Guru today and felt only revulsion.......Could see the same hamm(er) going tongs......

Am I witnessing the birth of a bias. My Amma agrees with part of me....but still.....

BTW, the music of Guru sounds classic Rahmanesque......

Monday, December 25, 2006

Post 209 : Adopting a piece of the world

When I was young (in my early teens) I was progressive and full of the goodness that only youth can contain. As I approach 31, I am corrupted, rotting from the inside (literally as well), dogmatic and quite a few of my virtues have been flushed down....

One of my ideals was to adopt a baby when I can....not because of any philanthropic reason.....but simply because of a simple principle.....'we must strive to increase the overall quality of the world' i.e. contribute in reducing entropy.

Since my recent surgery (and the wounds it has left on my corrupted soul.....scathing it to expose the inner sanctum....which I hope is still somewhat pristine) - I have been toying with this idea again.

Unlike 17 years ago, feeling very apprehensive thinking about this idea.....but need to do....what I must do.....

Ye spirit of Gaia, adopt me.....make me bite the bullet

Post 208 : Life as it does not seem

The maid who comes to our house to help us clean up, gets her daughter along.....

The daughter is in 8th or 9th standard, studies in a municipal school. She accompanies her mother to 5 different houses in the afternoon (after school) to help her mother clean up the homes (homes like mine).

I look at her and wonder, would I ever make my daughter work, if she was in 9th std? Would I especially make her work in cleaning the house?

I already know the answer and it makes me very uncomfortable.

Its no excuse to tell myself that others do it......I wonder how or why do we distinguish between our children and those of others? I have asked this question in the past - does 'my' 'our' mean anything in a crazy interconnected world.

I am accumulating karma, and I know its bad......probably its this karma that manifests itself in my intestine as an infection.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Post 207 : Old man by the railway station

I have lived in Bhandup for 13 years now.

If you take the exit from the platform (the one toward's Thane), and come out the east side - you should exit near Menon College.

There is a small bylane which is a pebble road to reach the post office - a faster way - not that it is too far away, it is just 50 mts away.

On this road exactly at the center, over a nullah (a gutter) if you may, there is a slight over-bridge kind of structure. Close to this is a seat (exactly on the backside of the Ganesh temple near the rickshaw stand).

On this seat for all of these 13 years, a man has been living. He does not beg, he does not work, he does nothing at all, but he lives.

He has definitely not shaved in years, has probably not bathed for as long as well ....he just sits there or sleeps there....he has a sack full of his belongings along with him, but I dont think he really opens it ever.

I have seen him in rain, in summer, in winter, at night, at day, early morning......he is omnipresent.

I often wonder where does he pee or poo.....does not look like at the seat, because that place does not stink.....but I have never seen the seat without him either.

Of the many observations around this, I wonder - his life seems to be just there to exist, to be....and he seems without a begging....just there......

Life instructs us in various ways, maybe here it is teaching us ways to achieve Buddhahood......

Post 206 : Movie 4 (Dhoom 2)

Thats just a glimpse of the pain I suffered while witnessing this mass murderer of a movie. I cringed, sobbed, wailed, danced in my self pity.

This movie should rate as the most brainless movie I have ever seen in recent times (the others in this category should be MF Hussain's Meenaxi and Fida). But even amongst its peers this one should come unscathed at the bottom, wallowing in its monstoriety......

Don't watch this, unless you have a fancy for :
1. Fake accents of Indian actors speaking English in foreign locales
2. A movie with a complete lack of script or reason.
3. Characters who seem to make a virtue of displaying their unreal and so tanned.....
4. Aishwarya Rai in her unblemished Madam Tussad's performance......
5. Abhishek Bachan and his meaningless snigger
6. Bipasha Basu and ....(wonder why she is at all relevant in the script).

The old Dhoom had bikes, had speed, had a great villian in John Abraham.....this one stinks for miles.

I would have liked to rate this -2 on a scale of 10, but I will rate it 2, only for 1 reason....Hrithik Hroshan.....He is magnetic on screen....delivers oomph to a role which expected him to be a Daniel Craigish cold character.

He should be our answer to Daniel Craig.....

But I had rather watch him in Mission Kashmir than this assualt on sanity.

Dont watch it, but yes, do gift the tickets to your enemies, you never know....they might just not manage to endure it.....they might go kaboom during dhoom....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Post 205 : Music 12 (Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for Fears)

From my website an earlier post in Aug 05


Cable Television in India happened in the period between 1991-93. Before that, we were privy to just a single incumbent channel which dished out less than 10 hours of (perversely substandard) programming per day.

Amongst the earliest cable channels that we had, was the bouquet from Star Television (Newscorp from Murdoch!!), which included MTV (yes it was part of Star then...and it was MTV undiluted which means a lot of Asian VJs and great global music....I still miss MTV classic), Prime Sports (now ESPNStar) and Starplus.

Prime Sports introduced me (and possibly a whole host of Indians) to Formula 1, and MotoGP (which was then FIM 500, 250 and 125CC).

I still clearly remember my rites of initiation into MotoGP was accelerated by Wayne Rainey (driving for Yamaha), coming on 30 second ads to push the sport. I started watching the sport in 1991. The GP (Goose Pimple) moment was the end of the coverage credit song (played at the end of the 2 hour live slot.....sadly ESPNStar now-a-days does not even cover MotoGP live.....How quality regresses...!!!). They used to play 'Everyone wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears' as the audio track, with spectacular slowmos of bike racing at its 'adrenaline' best...crashes, overtakes, wheelies, stoppies, slides.....and I must admit, I felt crazily alive for those few minutes (almost 3 minutes). Possibly, that's where the seeds for my passion of biking were laid. I still believe, in my opinion, that the song with those visuals was the most inspiring video (not the original for the song), I have ever seen. I am sure any biker who has ever seen it, must have connected with it instantly....It did immensely help that the song was (is and will be) a favorite.

Welcome to your life

There's no turning back

Even while we sleep

We will find you acting on your best behavior

Turn your back on Mother Nature

Everybody wants to rule the world.

It's my own design

It's my own remorse

Help me to decide

Help me make the most

Of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever

Everybody wants to rule the world.

There's a room where the light won't find you

Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down

When they do I'll be right behind you.

So glad we've almost made it

So sad they had to fade it

Everybody wants to rule the world.

I can't stand this indecision

Married with a lack of vision

Everybody wants to rule the world

Say that you'll never never never never need it

One headline why believe it?

Everybody wants to rule the world.

(Everyone wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears)

Post 204 : Heroes 1 : Sharmila Irom (Again) - 2nd Tehelka Interview

From Tehelka

Young, stoic and dogged, Irom Sharmila has been on a fast-unto-death since November, 2000. She wants the repressive Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act repealed. The Act gives draconian powers to the security forces and has repeatedly been used with brazen brutality in the Northeast. For five years, she has been imprisoned and force-fed by the State for her ‘crime’. Filmmaker Kavita Joshi spoke to her in the hospital room in Imphal, her prison

An eye: piercing, intent. A nose, covered by a swatch of medical tape, as a yellow tube forces its way in. Lips, stretched tight as if in pain. A woman sits against a bare wall, huddled under a blanket, tightly hugging herself. This is my first impression of Irom Sharmila as I walk to her hospital bed. She is incarcerated at the security ward of JN Hospital in Imphal, Manipur, in custody of the Central Jail, Sajiwa. It takes her immense effort to speak, but she tries her best. “How can I explain? This is not a punishment. It is my bounden duty at my best level.”

Irom Sharmila has not eaten for over five years now. For this, she has been locked up in jail by the government under very dubious charges and is being forcibly nose fed. Since November 2000, Sharmila has been on a fast-unto-death, demanding the removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA). AFSPA is a law that can come into force in any part of India declared as “disturbed”. The act allows anyone of any rank in the army or a paramilitary force under its operational command to shoot, arrest or search without warrant; and to kill on suspicion alone. Furthermore, there is little scope for judicial remedy. The whole of Sharmila’s state — Manipur — has continuously been under this law since 1980 (with minor exceptions in recent times).

It’s been five years since that day which changed her life. November 2, 2000 was just another Thursday. Till, that is, a convoy of Assam Rifles was bombed by insurgents near Malom in Manipur. In retaliation the men in uniform went berserk: 10 civilians were shot dead. You could say that neither the killings nor the brutal combing operation that followed were new to the people. Manipur had been ravaged by umpteen number of such incidents in the past. But for Sharmila, Malom was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. “There was no means to stop further violations by the armed forces,” she says. She began her epic fast.

From then to now, Sharmila’s frail body has become a battlefield. Within days of her fast, she was arrested on charges of ‘attempted suicide’ and put in jail. She refused bail; she refused to break her fast. For five years now, she has been in custody, being forcibly nose-fed. Time and again, the courts have — rightly — released her. But she resumes her fast and is invariably re-arrested each time.

In the five years that she hasn’t eaten, Sharmila’s body has begun to get damaged severely. She lives with the nagging pain of a tube thrust into her nose. She is 35 but has become feeble and looks older. What’s more, for five years, Sharmila has not seen her ageing mother. In her mother’s own words, “I am weak-hearted. If I see her, I will cry. I do not want to erode her determination, so I have resolved not to meet Sharmila till she reaches her goal.”

In times that are inured to violence, Sharmila’s protest is remarkable for its insistence upon the Gandhian ideals of ahimsa (non-violence) and satyagraha (insistence upon truth). And though her protest is ignored every day in the world’s largest democracy, Sharmila is resolute — “Unless and until they remove the AFSPA, I shall never stop my fasting.” In a rare interview, shot for the film Untitled: 3 Narratives — On Women and Conflict in Manipur, she unravels her heart, slowly, like a stream of amazing struggle and hope amidst intense despair.

Why did you start upon this fast?

For the sake of my motherland. Unless and until they remove the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, I shall never stop my fasting.

Could you tell me something about the incident that sparked this off for you?

I had gone there (to Malom) to attend a meeting. The meeting was towards planning a peace rally that would be held in a few days.

I was very shocked to see the dead bodies on the front pages of the newspapers. That strengthened me to step on this very threshold of death. Because there was no other means to stop further violations by the armed forces against innocent people.

I thought then, that the peace rally would be meaningless for me. Unless I were to do something to change the situation .

But why choose this particular method? Why a fast unto death?

It is the only means I have. Because hunger strike is based on spirituality. What about the effect this has on you, your health, your body?That doesn’t matter. We are all mortal.

Are you certain that this is really the best way?

To inflict this upon your body?It is not an ‘infliction’. This is not a punishment. I think this is my bounden duty.

‘Although the State may think so, I am in no mood for suicide. In any case, if I were a suicide-monger, how could we talk like this? I have no other choice but fasting’

How does your family react to your fast?

My mother knows everything about my decision. Although she is illiterate, and very simple, she has the courage to let me do my bounden duty

When did you last meet your mother?

About five years ago. There is an understanding between us. That she will meet me only after I have fulfilled my mission.

It must be very hard on both of you…

Not very hard… (pauses). Because, how shall I explain it, we all come here with a task to do. And we come here alone.

Just why are you in custody?

Why exactly?It is not my will. But the State insists it (the hunger strike) is unlawful.

But the government is saying that your fast-unto- death is attempted suicide, which is an offence…

Although they may think so, I am in no mood for suicide. In any case, if I were a suicide-monger, how could we communicate like this, you and I? My fasting is a means, as I have no other.How long are you prepared to go on like this?I don’t know. Though I do have hope. My stand is for the sake of truth, and I believe truth succeeds eventually. God gives me courage. That is why I am still alive through these artificial means. (Indicates the tube going into her nose.)

How do you spend your day in the hospital?

A lot of the time I practice yoga. It helps me keep my body and mind healthy. (She points to the tube again.) It is circumstances that make things natural. Though this (tugs the tube) is unusual, it is natural to me.

What do you miss the most?

The people. As I am a prisoner here (in hospital), everyone is restricted from meeting me without permission. So I miss people a lot.

If you had one wish that was yours for the asking, what would it be?

My wish? We must have the right to self determination as rational beings.Do you think the AFSPA will be repealed? Will you get what you are fighting for?I realise my task is a tough one. But I must endure. I must be patient. That happy day will come some day. If I’m still alive. Until then, I must be patient. (My time was over, and my crew and I were preparing to leave, when Sharmila stopped us.) Will you help me? I would like to read about the life-history of Nelson Mandela. I have no idea about his life. Will you send me a book about him? It is full of restrictions here. Make sure you address it to the security ward. If not, I may not recieve it.

(We sent Sharmila, the book from Delhi. Her friends tell us that it has reached her.)

Mar 25 , 2006

Post 203 : Sharmila Irom

I live in a world that does not suit me. I choose my heroes and they are quite different from what the world throws back at me.

I reject, refuse and decline to appease the f***cking 4th estate as they would choose to call themselves.

What sort of a weird world we live in, where I get 12 news channels beaming me live news all the time(yes, everything from Abhishek Bachan's crotch size to Lindsay Lohan's boob size, to Aishwarya Rai being a manglik, and Sunjay Dutt being a beatific AK-56 totting saint....and all of this all the time on all the channels.....4th estate, I have one word for you, its a four letter word, and its not fuck....its DEAD, all of you are dead and the stink shows it), but not of them has the balls to report on Sharmila Irom. (You ask who is she?....Well, that fits in beautifully with my point).

I have written abou Sharmila before, even back then, it was Tehelka that brough it to my notice. Its one of the few media institutions that is alive, writes about issues I want to read about.

My earlier post

I have reproduced two articles from recent issues of Tehelka about Sharmila Irom......

I often wonder what sets MK Gandhi, Mehdha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Sharmila Irom, Noam Chomsky apart from us....Is it their karma?

How noble is their cause, how pure is their pursuit......Does Medha ever think how she shall fund her next mobile phone from? Why am I so corrupted? Sometimes I think and conclude - maybe we are so deep down in this shitting quagmire - it might be better to let the quicksand lap you up and then start all over again.

Reproduced below Tehelka's Article from Dec 06 issue:


The immensity of Irom Sharmila Chanu’s now six-year-old protest is matched only by the paralysing indifference of the State and the national media, says Shoma Chaudhury

An ordinary November evening in Delhi. A slow halting voice breaks into your consciousness. “How shall I explain? It is not a punishment, but my bounden duty…” A haunting phrase in a haunting voice, made slow with pain yet magnetic in its moral force. “My bounden duty.” What can be bounden duty in an India bursting with the excitements of its economic boom?

You are tempted to walk away. You are busy and the voice is not violent in its beckoning. But then an image starts to take shape. A frail, fair woman on a hospital bed. A tousled head of jet black curls. A plastic tube thrust into the nose. Slim, clean hands. Intent, almond eyes. And the halting, haunting voice. Speaking of bounden duty.

That’s when the enormous story of Irom Sharmila begins to seep in. You are in the presence of something historic. Something unparalleled in the history of political protest anywhere in the world ever. Yet you have been oblivious of it. A hundred TV channels. An unprecedented age of media. Yet you are oblivious of it.

Irom Sharmila, 34, has not eaten anything, or drunk a single drop of water for six years. Six years. She has been forcibly kept alive by a drip thrust down her nose by the Indian State. For six years, nothing solid has entered her body. Not a drop of water has touched her lips. She has not combed her hair. She cleans her teeth with dry cotton and her lips with dry spirit so she will not sully her fast. Her body is wasted inside. Her menstrual cycles have stopped. Yet she is resolute. Whenever she can, she removes the tube from her nose. It is her bounden duty, she says, to make her voice heard in “the most reasonable and peaceful way”.

Yet we have remained oblivious to it. The Indian State has remained oblivious to it.

For six years, Irom Sharmila has been protesting the indefensible Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958) that has been imposed in Manipur and most of the Northeast since 1980. The Act allows the army to use force, shoot, or arrest anyone without warrant, on the mere suspicion that someone has committed or was about to commit a cognisable offence. The Act further prohibits any legal or judicial proceeding against army personnel without the previous sanction of the Central Government.

Draconian in letter, the Act has been even more draconian in spirit. Since it was imposed, by official admission alone, more than 20,000 people have been killed in Manipur. Rather than curb insurgent groups, it has engendered a seething resentment across the land, and fostered new militancies. When the Act came into force in 1980, there were only four insurgent groups in Manipur. Today there are 25 on the government’s own watch-list.

A few years ago, an unedited cd began doing the rounds in civil society circles. It showed footage of humiliating army brutality and public rage. Images of young children, students, working-class mothers and grandmothers taking to the streets, being tear-gassed and shot at. Images of men made to lie down while the army shot at the ground inches above their heads. Images of a group of young men in Lamlai rounded up and forced to beat each other with sticks. With each passing day, the stories gathered fury. Disappeared boys, raped women. Human life stripped of its most essential commodity: dignity.

By all accounts, Manipur has been a wasteland of fear and counter-fear for decades. A kind of despair runs in its veins. When ordinary people leave their homes, they are uncertain if they will return. There is no electricity. The countryside is dark. Everyone is fair game. The army on one side, rival insurgents on the other. And the crippling disinterest of mainland India everywhere. Tell the State force is no way to deal with such unrest and it is unimpressed. Creativity and agility are not attributes governments understand.

For young Irom Sharmila, things came to a head on November 2, 2000. A day earlier, an insurgent group had bombed an army column. Enraged, the 8th Assam Rifles retaliated by gunning down 10 innocent civilians at a bus-stand in Malom. The local papers published brutal pictures of the bodies the next day, including one of a 62-year old woman, Leisangbam Ibetomi, and 18-year old Sinam Chandramani, a 1988 National Child Bravery Award winner. Extraordinarily stirred, on November 4, Irom (then 28) began her fast.

Six years later, sprawled in an icy white hospital corridor in Delhi on a cold November evening, Singhajit, Irom’s 48-year-old elder brother, says half-laughing, “How we reach here?” In the echo chambers of that plangent question lies the incredible story of Irom Sharmila and her journey. Much of that story must be intuited. Its tensile strength, its intense, almost preternatural act of imagination is not on easy display. The faraway hut in Imphal where it began. The capital city now and the might of the State ranged against them. The sister jailed inside her tiny hospital room, he outside with nothing but the clothes on his back, neither well versed in either English or Hindi, and a posse of policemen at the door

Menghaobi, the people of Manipur call her, The Fair One. Youngest daughter of an illiterate Grade 1V worker in a veterinary hospital in Imphal, Irom was always a solitary child, the backbencher, the listener. Eight siblings had come before her. By the time she was born, her mother Irom Shakhi, 44, was dry. When dusk fell, and Manipur lay in darkness, Irom used to start to cry. The mother Shakhi had to tend to their tiny provision store, so Singhajit would cradle his baby sister in his arms and take her to any mother he could find to suckle her. “She has always had extraordinary will. Maybe that is what made her different,” Singhajit says. “Maybe this is her service to all her mothers.”

Dec 09 , 2006

Post 202 : Book 7 - Ravan and Eddie by Kiran Nagarkar

Both my wife and my mum, found this book howlarious. Its obvious my tastes are slightly different.

I did enjoy the book, its kind of 'coming of age - juvenile - post puberty' kind of book. The only other writer who I know writes in the same genre is Upamanyu Chaterjee of English August fame. (BTW, I like his Last Burden much better).

In this genre, you keep rolling from one sequence to another, no real character development or emotional undercurrents, just rip-roaring audacious humor with a soft melancholic underbelly.

I must admit, there were times when I was reading this book and burst out laughing - quite spontaneously - if not for the situation - but for the way the author had described it - the language - its risque and bawdy.

I would rate this book 6/10, yet I would recommend that if you want a light read - touch upon it.

One of the strong reasons - I rate this book low is because it left a very incomplete taste in my mouth, a kind of feeling you get when your partner just backed out before the big O.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Post 201: Music 11 (Dani California by Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

I am known to vacillate between the devil and the deep blue sea....between the priestess and the sultry slut.....I want to keep it that way. In my opinion its an essential attribute of being alive.

I know very few people who listen to Floyd, Dire Straits, Def Leppard, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, GNR, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, REM, Dave Matthews - and still swear by classical music as well.

I do, and the day I stop - place a RIP over me.

Grew up listening to RHCP esp. who can forget the classic 'Give it away, give it away, give it away now......'.

Heard Dani California - and it sounds like a classic RHCP. Retro sounds, very unusual rhythms, RHCP signature vocals.....fuzzy lyrics which goes all the way to paradise before falling in heap at Satan's feet.....

'Push the fader, gifted animator
One for the now and eleven for the later'

Lovely feel....long time since I heard metaphors like goes the whole song

Gettin' born in the state of Mississippi
Poppa was a copper and momma was a hippie
In Alabama she was swinging hammer
Price you gotta pay when you break the panorama
She never knew that there was anything more than poor
What in the world does your company take me for?
Black bandana, sweet Louisiana
Robbin'on a bank in the state of Indiana
She's a runner, rebel and a stunner
On her merry way saying baby what you gonna
Lookin' down the barrel of a hot metal .45
Just another way to survive

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest
Yeah, yeah

She's a lover, baby and a fighter
Should've seen her coming when it got a little brighter
With a name like Dani California
Day was gonna come when I was gonna mourn ya
A little loaded she was stealing another breath
I love my baby to death

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest
Yeah, yeah

Who knew the other side of you
Who knew what others died to prove
Too true to say goodbye to you
Too true, too say say say

Push the fader, gifted animator
One for the now and eleven for the later
Never made it, Up to Minnesota
North Dakota man was a gunnin' for the quota
Down in the badlands she was saving the best for last
it only hurts when I laugh
Gone too fast

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest

Yeah, yeah

California rest in peace
Simultaneous release
California show your teeth
She's my priestess, I'm your priest
Yeah, yeah

Post 200 - Music 10 (Tu Kaun Hai - Bhopal Express)

I have copied this from my website....orginally written in Aug 05


Bhopal Express was a movie made in 2001, which documented the Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984 in the form of fictional tale. The tragedy itself was a colossal murder, a leak in the Union Carbide plant which killed and affected over half a million people. Its reminds you that.... life is indeed very fragile, death can come in the dark (like it happened in Bhopal that night), it can come via closed doors, it can come via the most secure barricade, it can find you and kill matter where you hide.....when 'gas' is a murderer, the perpetrator is shapeless, omnipotent, and permeate at will.

This movie has two actors, Kay Kay Menon and Nethra Raghuraman who play the main protagonists in the tale.(I can appreciate the director's dilemma, he possibly could not have dealt with half a million protagonists and their portrayal.

There is lovely song in the movie, very haunting (breathtaking lyrics), sung by Lucky Ali (comedian Mehmood's son). The song is at the bottom of this page. I am not sure where exactly this song is fitted within the movie, but this page is about the video of the song. In the whole song, slivers of the movie are used as the prop for the video.

The video conveys to the viewer a scene where Kay Kay's wife Nethra is returning to Bhopal on a long distance train. Bhopal has already begun decomposing due to gas leak (which happened a few hours ago)......Kay Kay is just a tiny cell in a massive destruction taking place.

He knows his wife is on her way back, and he wants to prevent her from entering Bhopal....but how?, those were not the days of cellular phones. (In real life, a lot of trains passed through Bhopal on that night, and possibly innumerable personal tragedies did occur....which otherwise could have been prevented). Kay Kay decides to run out of the city, and stop the train on the tracks, so that the whole train (and hence his wife) are saved.

The camera pans on Kay Kay who is running on the tracks, as fast as his feet shall take him away from Bhopal. He sees a train coming from far on his track. He removes his shirt and begins waving wildly. The video shows a irritated driver (of the train) not knowing what to do, finally bringing his train to a halt near where Kay Kay is on the tracks. This whole scene is played out in over 2 minutes with the camera alternating between Kay Kay and the driver. Kay Kay in the initial part is not sure whether the driver would heed him and stop, and when the train does finally stop, the relief and joy of Kay Kay as it is played out on the track is so real...that for a minute you forget this is a are now part of the game.....a game you so desperately want Kay Kay to win.....and he does eventually win....or so it seems....

Meanwhile the song is playing in the if is enmeshed within the game...its an integral part of the moment, not an accessory. You are treated to a spectacle of Kay Kay thrashing around wildly with joy, kissing the ground (a la Sajda!), and then.....

On one of the parallel tracks, another train goes by....This is also a long distance miss a breath.....The camera pans on Kay Kay's face as he reads the name of the train from the side (as it is passing him by).....the moment is still...the train is moving....the joy is dead.....the expression contorts from that of a relief to impotence, as he figures that he has stopped the wrong train....the train containing his wife has just passed him.....and that moment is indescribable (as it captured on camera)....the helplessness of human spirit, the defeat of it, and its death and captured in full spirit.....its so are it is happening....a man has just saved, probably around 2000 lives....yet he is completely deflated...tired, defeated, because his own wife is going to die......heroism does not obscure a personal tragedy.....infact it does not even brush past......the personal tragedy has veiled the whole moment....its larger than anything else....

The last bars of the song play and then it ends.

Tu Kaun Hai....(Who (what) are you?)

Kahan se tu aati hai
Kahan ko tu jaati hai
Sapnon ko sajati hai
Apnon ko ley jaati hai
Baaghon mein jab behti hai
Kaanon mein kuch kehti hai
Aati hai nazar nahin
Saanson mein par rehti hai
Hawaa hai pawan hai
Vayu hai, purvaaee hai
Jeevan hai, jaan hai, ya parchaayee hai
Lene aayi hai ya kuch mere liye laayi hai
Poochoonga mein kya tujhse

Kahan se tu aayi hai
Tu kaun hai, tu kaun hai...

Tu jab chalti chalti badal
Jab chalti tu girtey patte
Tu kehti to diye jalte
Tu rukhe, dil dil se milte
Sagar ki lahron mein lehraati hai tu talay tul
Patton ke paayalon mein lati khan khan
Khat Khat koi nahin aisa ek jhonka hai
Kuch hai, such hai, ya tu ek dhoka hai
Tu kaun hai, tu kaun hai...

Kahan se tu aati haiKahan ko tu jaati hai
Sapnon ko sajati haiApnon ko ley jaati hai
Baaghon mein jab behti hai
Kaanon mein kuch kehti hai
Aati hai nazar nahin
Saanson mein par rehti hai
Tu kaun hai, tu kaun hai
(Lyrics : Piyush Pandey, Sung by Lucky Ali, Music : Shankar Ehsan and Loy)

Post 199 - Music 9 (Yeh Hosla - Dor) again!!

Refer to post 180 and 179.....on what the 'again' means....

The more I listen to this song, it grows on me. You have to watch it with the movie to be moved with a emotional force so breakneck, its almost as if the world stopped. Very few songs have that power. ('Tu Kaun Hai' and 'Everybody wants to rule the world' are probably the others).

This song must be the anthem for a nation, its timbre is akin to a movement.......or for a crazy bunny of a cricket team which loses 0-5 to South Africa. Maybe the song motivates them better than the sound of money.

If you have not heard it, please do. If you have not watched the move, watch will love Gul Panang, Ayesha Takia and Shreyas Talpade. (Dor by Nagesh Kukonoor)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Post 198 - Tales from the back(side) or 'The Tao of Poo'

Just had a colo-rectal surgery….whoa!!! what is that. That is a clini-surgical process to clean your gloryhole.

Lets go back, starting June 2004, I have had off and on severe Gastro-instestinal problems. With the lucky me – eating some strong medicines (read poision) – for some other nasty problem – I thought maybe this was a side effect of this poison.

It always seemed to be aggravated when I traveled, infact even the subtle hint of long travel (even to Poone, which is all but a 2 hr drive ) used to put my intestines into overdrive.

Life set into motion around mid of 05, by Dec 05….I was as normal as a bunny rabbit. Then in Dec, I chose a project – yes, you heard right, I Chose a project which required me to travel 4 days to Hyd /per week. Hyderabad is an hour by flight from Bombay. (Harikiri never really went out of fashion).

By March, I was bleeding – gassing – farting – my intestines were doing everything but the normal.

In May I consulted a doctor who said – hemorrhoids – needs surgery. I say fine, fly down to Mumbai.

A senior doctor in Mumbai looks at my sweet spot and says – hokum – no hemorrhoids, just an intestinal infection – ciprofloxacin + tinidazole should do the trick. I do a 10 ten day course – and ‘praised be the prophet’ – I shit like a baby – perfect normal until August.

Come October, I have to fly to London. That’s where my intestines started singing…..yeah…another sad love song (aka Toni Braxton)….what’s the connection…..well, my intestinal singing was just as sad and ludicrous.

I get this slight pain while passing stools and extreme discomfort throughout the day…..

Finally on Nov 17th, I can take it no more and fly back into Bombay.

On 18th, I get examined, on 19th – I get colonoscopy…..- prognosis – intestinal infection coupled with hemorrhoids, fissures and some nerve dislocation. (My harikiri seemed to have almost succeeded).

Action – surgery as soon as possible.

My doctor (actually for the fun I poke at him, he was really sweet….he is still sweet), I have felt comfortable with him – he tells me, 30 min operation, 2 day out of action, 4 day rest and bus kaboom, life will go on…..

For the colonoscopy they make me fast for 12 hours ( no water).

I get admitted on 22nd Nov evening. A day full of trepidation. No food starting 23rd morning. Operation is supposed to be at 12, gets postponed to 4pm.

The wait is interminable. Finally at 4.30pm someone wheels me to the OT. There the nurse tells me, why have you come so soon, no OT available till 5.30pm at least……

I decide to wait. Finally at 6.40pm and OT is found.

A sweet lady speaks to me as I am wheeled in, tells me about the epidural (spinal anesthesia). Asks me to crouch like a baby. I do that and bang bang bang, she injects me with 4 injections.

Asks me to lie down, speaks to me like a mom (thank you – dear nameless doctor, you reassured me before the operation).

Meanwhile, along IV lines, they give me sedation, while the epidural is making my body –chest down as dead as a log.

I blank out in the next 2-3 mins. I wake up quite later (in retrospect it was 7.45pm)

Surgery is still on. Docs and surgeons start talking to me, making me relax. (Thank you folks – you were really great). Thety tell me another 10 mins and they are done.

By 8pm we are done. I am clothed (of course I was naked), but more importantly my feet were dead.

I go back into my hospital room (or rather I am wheeled in) by 8.15. My wifey and her sister (both have patience like a clock – thank you without you I would have died due to the trauma), both greet me. I am not supposed to eat for another 6 hours, remember I have not had a single drop of water since morning.

I don’t know how time passes, I think I sleep – its almost 10pm.

My sweetheart calls for some coconut water. She talks to me, hugs me, relaxes me. I sleep off again.

I wake up at 11pm. This time, I am more aware of my self. I realise, I have a catheter attached to my soosoti (yeah, that’s what a character in Rohington Mistry’s A fine balance called the penis – I liked it – so it stays). At 12pm, I am allowed some narial pani (coconut water).

At that point, the nigfhtmare starts. I am fucking tired, my anaesthesia is wearing off, a niggling pain is starting, and yet a crazy uneasiness is overtaking me. I can’t open my eyes (literally I am so fucking drowsy) and yet I can’t sleep.

I start nagging my sweety, and she like a mother starts daubing me. (I love you for that, I hope I can be as loving when I am needed).

She holds me, hugs me, kisses me, taps me, hugs me , kisses me….and it goes on ad ennui…..

We do this until 4.30am…yeah you heard right. I call my wifey tinkoo – tinkoo puts with all of this without a complain, she stays awake as well.

Finally at 4.30 am I am exhausted and pass out.

Next stop 7am. I can only sleep in one position, because of the cathedral.

Next day is a day of only liquid diets. (24th Nov).

My sis-in-law, lets call her Aarti, comes in to visit me. Hugs me, tells me things will be ok.

By now, the catherder has made a monkey out of me. I am tied to the bed, but I can’t even move without pain. Doctor tells me, walk if you want to – walk, huh, I could not even move a finger without pain.

On 24th night and 25th morning, too much rumbling in my intestine. I think I have to poo.

On 25th morning, a nurse helps me off the dressing and asks me to try. (to try to poo that is). She also helps me off the catherder. Tells me it wont pain me, but in the process of removing it, I almost die.

And try I do…..but nothing but a whole load of blood and pain comes out.

I pee though, and the pain while peeing is as if I am spitting acid not pee.

I am tired, and I come out of the loo, to be greeted by the smiling portly face of Dr. Sachin (he is probably one of the most relaxing docs I have met) .

Sachin : tried?

Me : Yes

S : And?

Me : Nothing happened, except for blood?

S: (smiles) nothing will happen. There is a padding within your intestine I need to remove. Please turn around.

I turn around and S starts pulling, and I start screaming. Each length of the pad coming out is shearing me as it were a knife.

Me : Done?

S: Just a little more?

Finally about 3 feet of gauss dressing comes out of my intestine. By now, I am dying with pain.

S : Don’t worry, you wont poo till tomorrow, its only flatulence. (he speaks but I am not hearing).

Finally by afternoon, I am fine, but still in great amount of discomfort.

Now I have some semi-solid food. At night I have a laxative and some fiber supplement.

Can’t sleep without a pain killer. A nurse pushes a few ounces into my bum.

On 26th Morning, I am ready to poo. Go in, pass a lot of gas. Poo coming, but also attached is a lot of apprehension.

Will it pain, will it not?

The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind!!!

In the next 5 seconds, a huge blob of poo followed by a pain – that I almost died of.

God, be kind, don’t give anyone that sort of pain. I really died. For 10 minutes after I came out, I was convulsing with pain.

S came in : Amit don’t worry shall be ok in about 10 minutes.

Who the heck is listening?

I take discharge on 27th……

Similar poo experiences go on till 30th evening. Reason : We realise a bit late, that I am not taking enough laxatives, poo still not smooth enough.

Starting 30th, I guzzle laxatives as if my life depended on it.

Today is 4th, the pain has substantially reduced though it does pain quite a bit, but when 26th became the ‘standard’ life can only get easier from there.

Also, on 26th – 27th- 28th I had terrible headache, so much so that I could not even stand for a moment, I used to feel dizzy. Doc told me it was a standard side effect of the epidural fluid leaking off, should be okay in a few days. This hampered my ability to sit, pee, eat, poo, read…..all I could do is lie flat.

Since 27th till today – every day for 4 hours I have this crazy hyperactive – super nervous 4-5 hour stint every day. It happens randomly. Sometimes at night, sometimes during the day. While this hyperactivity is on, I cannot read, cannot drive, cannot sleep, cannot watch TV, cannot read email……my mind just does not remain still (possible a glimpse of what a very advanced form of ADC (attention deficiet disorder) might be.

I think the above is just because of the fact that I have been pumped in with too much medicine – I need detox, plus a very sensitive part is trying to heal (like you get an itch with a skin rash heals).

Overall, a very spiritual experience (a post will follow on this topic).

The doctors (Hitesh Mehta, Sachin), the Mallu nurses, my parents all deserve a great thanks for helping me through this. My wife and Aarti have been through this as much as I have been. Would have died by now, if not for them.

At office, Prashant, Vinod and Ranjit back up for me. Prashant especially deserves a thanks, given that I abandoned him alone on the ship at a very crucial point in the project, and boy did they manage it well.

Vijiamma/Appa/Sujish/Bindu/Vivek/Prashant (again) and a whole host of friends kept calling me tirelessly through these days to make sure I was ok. Glad I got that, I definitely needed that bit of support. I was going crazy in the past week, almost as if the walls would come down collapsing on me.

Google (and now the doctor tells) me its going to be 2-6 weeks before I feel normal.

So much so for a story from my backside.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Post 197 - Book 6 – Rohington Mistry’s A Fine Balance

I borrowed this from my mom. Before I did that, she warned me, ‘Beta, this is a f***ing depressing book’, (okay…okay…close that mouth of yours ….she did not use the f-word, but meant it all the same.)

Depression and me seem to gel together quite well…..why? am I a wailing melancholic…..not its quite that black…..the white is the (long ago dead) poet in me reacts much better to misery than joy.

I just finished it today, a 600 page monster in small print.

I can’t recall having read a more melancholic book than this.

Did I enjoy it? Immensely. Dina Shroff, Maneck Kohlah, Ishvar Darji, Om Darji, Beggarmaster, Dustoor Dab-Chab, a city without a name (but its about Bombay)…..the loveable parsis in all their resplendent glory…..I lived all of it, experienced it……imagined Dina Aunty’ kitchen, Maneck’s hill station home (probably Mount Abu or Sringar or Arunachal Pradesh)……

One thing though, this is the first book that made me wince about Indira Gandhi and her imposed ‘Emergency’, I have heard generalizations before, but never details. This book is about telling details without revealing.

I am probably going to read up a bit around ‘emergency’.

Okay mom, it’s a sad book, but its something I shall treasure for life. I will definitely re-read this book exactly two years from now. It might remind me of a few decisions(for the future) I took along the way while reading this one.

This one gets a 10/10 for being subtle, classy, involving, tragic and poetic. A Must Read if you like fiction.

Post 196 - Book – 5 – Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City

A cannot-put-me-down read…..My mom thinks it’s an especially depressing and scathing take on the city, focusing on nothing but its failings.

Its kind of true, but still I found it a riveting yet light hearted read. You can read it in a crowded compartment without missing any of it nuances (as it is, the author does not lend himself to too much subtlety).

I found the book honest, yet all over the place. Its more like a running commentary on a great city. Pages keep moving from episode to episode……

Its only towards the end, after you have run through the chapters on Jains that you see the point the author is trying to make. He is capturing a city, which is trying to live upto its macho image, while all the time, gnawing at its soft absent skeletal center……a city which is trying to wallow in its hype and pride, while all the time, there is a closet of shame always around the corner…..a city which is trying to retrofit itself into a world gone ahead, while all the time, trying to contain its own monstrous extremities……and the point is, even he struggles to grapple with a such a dubious incongruent paradoxical city….someone he wants so much to love……but he inadvertently ends up maiming….a product of the ‘only stories’ the city can narrate without crossing the limits of fiction, the stories which feed his skewed prose.

I will still give it 8/10, for being a thoroughly paisa vasool read. I am sure Mr. Mehta will be delighted with that statement.